Saturday, June 26, 2010

Racecar Cake & Working with Marshmallow Fondant

A friend of mine requested a race car cake for her sons' birthday party. I knew that I wanted to make fondant-covered cars because piped frosting just wouldn't look right (cars are smooth, not bumpy!) At first I thought about buying Duff's new fondant (because it tastes good, unlike the Wilton kind) but it's twenty bucks at Michaels - not in my budget. So, I knew you could make a good-tasting fondant out of marshmallows but wasn't sure how to go about doing it. Luckily, there are several awesomely detailed tutorials on the web. Here is the one I used:

You DEFINITELY need a stand mixer, preferably one with a dough hook attachment, to make this fondant. I had no problems making or using the fondant, though. It worked just as well as promised! It was actually a little more pliable than regular fondant, which helped prevent cracks.

I carved the cars out of rice krispie treats (you just compress the mixture to make it really dense for carving) because cake can be really heavy. I knew that I was going to place the cars on two round cakes (a figure eight "racetrack") and didn't want them to sink or be unstable.

There are several things I would add if I had more time. I should have taken the extra few minutes to add racing stripes, like I had planned. I would definitely have preferred to have more details on the cars, but overall I think they look pretty good for my first try at fondant-covered rice krispie treats.
I would have liked to have made the cake base bigger, too, but have such limited space to work in. These were already 16" rounds. I also needed to make sure that it fit in the car for delivery!
Overall, I'm not completely happy with it but I certainly learned a lot!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rhubarb Bars

We got our second CSA box of veggies last week. Hurrah! In that box was some delectable-looking rhubarb. I wanted to make something that would be easy to cut into portions and something I haven't tried before.

I used this recipe and modifed it somewhat:

My modifications were replacing half the white sugar with brown sugar and using 1/4 cup oats in the streusal topping in place of part of the flour. The crust and topping is quite sweet, which is somewhat balanced by the tart rhubarb filling. However, I would definitely add some salt in either the topping for the crust and maybe some additional spice such as cardamom or ginger. Ooh, how about orange zest in the crust?! That would be tasty. In any case, these were good but definitely for people who like their dessert on the sweeter side.

Monday, June 14, 2010


My dad likes yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Yup - no fancy flavors or icings allowed. Since I couldn't experiment with different flavors for his birthday cake, I wanted to do something fun with the presentation. I ran across this idea at:

and thought it was so cute! And so easy that I wish I had thought of it myself. Plus - edible topper made from a pb cup? Delicious and genius.

Friday, June 11, 2010


It has been raining like crazy lately. That means that mushrooms are popping up all over. I think they're fascinating - alien-looking, those perfect soft frills on the underside that I am compelled to smoosh, rounded caps and sturdy little stems. And they fade away as quickly as they seem to pop up! Perfect one day and black or brown squishy or dried out piles the next.

Now I am no mycologist (mushroom expert), but I basically separate them into several different categories: smurf houses, tutus or inside-out umbrellas, cafe dining umbrellas (like the big white one below, that is an unopened cafe umbrella, see?), sea barnacle/coral types, puffballs (not pictured but you know what I mean), lilypads, and Crazy (which has many subcategories).

I don't eat mushrooms for the same reason I don't like patchouli - they smell/taste like dirt. The bright side is that I will never be poisoned by a questionable wild mushroom, right?